Di Grassi: Malaysia was ‘very tough’

The Malaysian ePrix was the toughest race he's experienced in Formula E so far, Putrajaya ePrix winner Lucas di Grassi said on Saturday.

Sweltering heat created problems with software and hardware and also caused parts of the track's new surface to start breaking up.

The conditions claimed several of the frontrunners, including race leader Sebastien Buemi and Loic Duval, and though di Grassi was one of the few to survive all the way to the finish, that didn't mean it was easy.

“My race was also compromised from the heat,” he said. “I had to slow my pace down, and I think everybody had to do the same. I think we just managed to do it better.

“For me the most difficult part was to control the anxiety to try and overtake the car in front, knowing that the race was going to be very long, and you had to contain the temperatures.

“It was a patience race, and you had to be very precise because there were a lot of marbles on the track. The new asphalt was breaking away, so you had to be very precise and not make any mistakes.

“It was a very, very tough mind game, this race. I think the toughest we’ve had so far.”

Despite the problems rivals Renault e.DAMS experienced, di Grassi knows they displayed far more pace than any other team, and ABT Audi Sport still have a lot of work to do despite the victory.

“I think we’ve improved a lot from Beijing,” said di Grassi.

“I had the fastest first and second sector in qualifying, so clearly we made a step from Beijing because we were not fast.

“Now we have to understand what we do to catch up with Renault; they are still the team to beat, it is still the car with the highest performance.

“It’s good to be where we are now, but we have to get back home and started working a lot for the Punte race.”